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Aug 20, 2009 10:16 PM

Best Egg Rolls in LA area

A friend of mine, were both ex-NYers, has been telling me about the best NY style egg rolls in the area. He finally took me to Genghis Cohen on Fairfax and, I have to say, they were the best egg rolls Ive ever had in California..Nothing at all like the shrunken,greasy carrot-filled nightmares made at every Chinese restaurant Ive eaten at in the area.Admittedly, I am not an expert on local Chinese food. I have a few favorites but never have i eaten a good, large NY style egg roll until tonite. They were wrapped in a perfectly crispy, not greasy and nicely textured skin...Really excellent..Anyone have any egg roll wisdom to share?

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  1. You came to the same conclusion as Mr. Taster, our resident NY eggroll maven.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      Thanks Professor..that was a great link to the final word about egg rolls here in LA...wonder if anythings changed...since the last comments?

      1. re: lapizzamaven

        I almost forgot about this thread by our other eggroll fanatic, Das Ubergeek


    2. The togo place in Mar Vista on the north side of Venice, west of Centinella is supposed to have good eggrolls. Little hole in the wall take out only, someone help with the name.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Burger Boy

        You need to reread my post that Professor Salt kindly republished.

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster

          Wow, I had heard from a friend who grew up 5 blocks from there, lived in area 30 years, how great they were. Sorry

          1. re: Burger Boy

            They weren't bad. They just weren't NY eggrolls.

            That was a big part of the frustration when I did the initial legwork... I was bombarded with info from lots of well-meaning LA hounds who really had no idea what a NY eggroll was, so ultimately I wound up fruitlessly spinning my wheels on many false leads.

            Mr Taster

          2. re: Mr Taster

            Mr. T, did you ever try the NY Style egg rolls at New Moon in Montrose? I doubt they are as good as GC, I was just curious, though.

            1. re: Tom P

              Hmm.... I think so... although that time in my life is sort of a blur now :) I'll have to check it out again for a refresher course though before I weigh in officially. This might just turn out to be an eggroll-packed weekend.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                If you do, let me know. They are the best I have found, but I need to get to GC to compare.

              2. re: Tom P

                I have. They're not far from it but they contain no pork, only chicken, which is weird. And they cut them up. If they used pork and left them whole they'd be spot on.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Funny thing for me, growing up, the NY Style egg rolls I always had were cut up. So that is one reason these resonated with me so much. I am with you on the pork... needs pork! But I do like these a lot.

          3. I never ate an eggroll in NY, but near the "Little Saigon" neighborhood in Orange County is a longtime old-style Chinese place called Wong's Restaurant (on Westminster Ave. west of Euclid Ave.) that is known for their big eggrolls which have a thicker crust and much more meat than what is usually found in most local Chinese eateries. They're a little pricey---an order of 3 runs about $6.50. I've attached a photo below:

            Wong's Restaurant
            10642 Westminster Ave.
            Garden Grove, CA.
            (714) 537-4920

            3 Replies
            1. re: HBfoodie

              we like Ghengis Cohen's, but I must say those egg rolls at Wong's look pretty good

              1. re: HBfoodie

                They do look promising... however, so do the frozen eggrolls at Trader Joe's, and they taste nothing like what us NY area expats are looking for.

                I am told that there was a time in LA where every mom and pop Chinese joint all over LA sold that style of egg roll, and there was a point where they all just vanished... it was as if some dastardly eggroll thief came in and swapped them all out for those flavorless, greasy spring rolls.

                The crazy part is that nobody seems to be able to really pinpoint how, why or when this happened.

                Even more confounding for those of us who have lived in both NY and LA is that nobody seems to know whether these thick, large, bubbly skinned LA eggrolls actually tasted like their counterparts in NYC. My boss, born and raised in LA, left the city in 1981 to work in New York, where he ate many glorious eggrolls. He came back to LA in 1992 and the eggroll landscape has totally shifted to spring rolls. When I found this out, I thought, "This is fantastic! This is the perfect guy... he experienced LA eggrolls in their heyday and then moved to NYC and ate eggrolls there for 10 years." But when I pressed him on it, he just couldn't remember anything about LA eggrolls other than their general aesthetics. The flavor of the old LA eggrolls entirely eluded him, though he now has the same cravings for NYC style eggrolls that Das Ubergeek, myself, and other NY/NJ hounds have.

                I believe it will remain a mystery for the ages...

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  I wondered upon this thread because I'm really hankering for those thick, large bubbly skinned egg rolls I grew up eating - here in LA.

                  You are 100% correct. Sometime around 1992 they all disappeared from the LA landscape. The last place on Sunset where I would get my fix closed then, and that was the last I had of those type of egg rolls until I lived in NYC from 2004-2009.

                  I really enjoyed the NY egg rolls and they did remind me of my childhood egg rolls. Perhaps my memory betrayed me, but I felt like the egg rolls from my youth were a bit tastier, although very similar to the NY egg roll.

                  But that might be nostalgia talking rather than the truth. I just remember how non-greasy they were despite being fried, and how delicious the filling was. The few places we used to get them from had them both whole or cut up.

              2. I have had the egg rolls at Genghis Cohen and they are not bad, but for the real deal you need to go to Yang Ming, on Tustin Avenue in the city of Orange.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Seriously? When did this happen, and why have you been holding it back from us? :) I can pick some up when I'm getting my annual pumpkin pie from The Filling Station!

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    DU wasn't holding back. It was an addendum in the thread he started


                    1. re: Professor Salt

                      Wow, that place had completely dropped off my radar... thanks for the reminder

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        Mr Taster..let me thank you again for the egg roll expertise...i just reheated,in a nice little toaster that gets quite hot,quite fast, 2 egg rolls i took out from GC last night. they retained quite a bit of flavor and crispness...Not quite NY flavor that I remember but pretty good and I usually am fairly restrained with my praise. By the way, this info about Yang Ming could create a southbound traffic tsunami this afternnon...

                  2. re: Das Ubergeek

                    DU, what else do you recommend at Yang Ming? I'm ready to drive 40 miles for the egg rolls of my youth, but probably should order some accompaniments.

                    1. re: Peripatetic

                      Hm... stick with things that are Cantonese-style and try and avoid things that are obviously going to be greasy. Nothing really stood out but I had decent American-style gong bao (which I know is not Cantonese, but it's just American).

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        Agree about GC but the place has seen better days. It just seems a bit "worn" around the edges. Used to go there all the time - now just pick up eggrolls and leave.
                        St. Louis used to have a place named Lotus Room. That's where I first had thick, pebbly crusted eggrolls. Pork and tiny bits of shrimp. No carrots. Please!
                        I'm going to try both place suggested, Yang Ming and Wong's. I must. Thanks

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          I have no problem with good, Americanized Chinese food, like Hop Kee's (NYC). I'd love to find a place that does good fried wontons with duck sauce, moo shu pork, and iridescent red barbecue pork. I've seen the lamentations on the LA board for this type of food, so realize "it ain't happening". :(

                    2. cha gio and lumpia > chinese eggrolls :P

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: A5 KOBE

                        Not if you like egg rolls, as opposed to spring rolls.